Our Readers' Opinions
June 7, 2011
Disappointed wth Luke Browne’s stance on Gaddafi


Editor: I have, until now, admired Luke Browne for his social commitment and political acumen. However, my view has now been changed after reading his sycophantic hagiography of Gaddafi, that appeared in your issue of May 31.{{more}} Indeed, I found it hard, if not impossible to reconcile the portrait of Gaddafi as given in the article. Some real facts need to be brought into the open.

Gaddafi came to power in 1969 by way of a coup deposing King Idris. Although seemingly bloodless, does Luke now advocate obtaining Government by the gun barrel rather than the ballot box? Following this coup, most of the co-conspirators were “purged” from the new military government, rather like Stalin’s purges of the 1930s, leaving the reins of power in the hand of Gaddafi, his family and his most trusted cohorts.

I am sure that Luke would agree that this is not his professed vision of democracy. Further, there is no true democracy in Libya since Gaddafi came to power. There are, or have been in the past, so-called free elections, but when these are held in a one-party state controlled by a dictator, then they can hardly be judged as democratic. His “Little Green Book” describes a supposed Utopian state. But it is, in effect, based upon plagiarism and hypocrisy, by “lifting” 50% from Mao’s Little Red Book and the other 50% describing a state that was forbidden to the populace of Libya. An example of this being that at one time (perhaps even now) it was illegal for more than four Libyan males to gather together at any location. Gatherings of more than this number would be arrested and charged with political conspiracy against the state, even if they were only discussing football! The exceptions to this were the loyalty rallies organised by Gaddafi and attended by handpicked followers.

There is also the matter of the 30 plus years that Gaddafi has supported and financed terrorist groups and acts of terrorism, not least of which is the shooting of WPC Fletcher in London and of course the bombing of Pan Am 103. Among the terrorist groups financed or supplied with arms by Gaddafi have been: IRA, INLA, Red Army Faction. Plus known terrorist actions undertaken by Libyans upon Gaddafi’s orders, such as the bombing of La Belle nightclub in Berlin and the assassinations of accused dissidents such as Faisal Zagallia and Mansour Kikhia. No lesser an authority than Amnesty International has claimed that Gaddafi was responsible, by ordering the assassination of 25 people between 1980 and 1987 and those are only the ones that have come to light. But, what more can you expect from a man who utters “It is the Libyans responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad”, given at a loyalty rally in 1982, when talking about exiled dissidents. Plus the fact that he was the main backer, both by arms and finance of the despotic and bloodthirsty rule in Sierra Leone of Charles Taylor of blood diamond infamy.

I find it very sad that such an individual who has wrought worldwide murder should be portrayed in your newspaper in such a flattering and iconic fashion.

There are far more favourable individuals on this planet who really deserve this iconic status.

A. W. Indupp.